"Once our secretary Fran Siegel made a mistake, we are obligated to look away and simply sign off," stated Lakewood Zoning Board Chairman Abe Halberstam.

Curious minds wonder what motivation is there to get things right when the "big guys on top" will get your back regardless what mess ups you cause.

Back in July 2014, the Zoning Board approved Appeal # 3877, submitted by Lakeside London, LLC to construct 3 single family units and one duplex on Turin Avenue in the Oak and Vine neighborhood.

The Board's Resolution of Approval stipulated that there be no exterior steps to the basement (to ensure that there be no separate rental apartment in the basement), and that one third of the homes be constructed with stone, stucco, or brick. This is a very standard condition in Zoning Board approvals.

The application was represented by Attorney Miriam Weinstein Esq.

Since that time, one of the lots was purchased by Samuel Moscowitz.

Mr. Moscowitz submitted a plot plan to Fran Siegel, the Township's Zoning Officer (and Zoning Board secretary) and the Engineering Department. This plot plan was approved despite it including exterior steps to the basement and less than one third stucco. The home was then constructed based on this plan.

When Mr. Moscowitz requested a Certificate of Occupancy from the Building Department, they denied it based on the Zoning Board's conditions.

Mr. Moscowitz has now retained Mrs. Weinstein who submitted a letter of correspondence to the Board asking them to waive their conditions so Mr. Moscowitz can obtain a Certificate of Occupancy.

Mrs. Weinstein told the Board that she was not Mr. Moscowitz's attorney at the time of the sale.

Mr. Moscowitz told the Board, "I didn't know when I bought the home that a resolution comes with the home. I thought that only trees come with the home."

Board Member Meir Gelley pushed back, asking, "who was your attorney when you bought the property?" Mr. Moscowitz did not respond to this question.

Another board member expressed frustration, asking, "when will we stop seeing these applications?"

Chairman Abe Halberstam responded, "whenever Mrs. Weinstein finally stops accepting these applications."

Board Attorney Jerry Dasti Esq. cautioned the Board, "Mrs. Weinstein is simply the messenger. Don't kill the messenger."

Then Chairman Halberstam stated, "regardless of who was the attorney when, the bottom line is that Fran did approve the plot plan so we can't now undo that."

Resident Aaron Hirsch spoke up in opposition, asserting that the Board needs to stop these shenanigans and deny this waiver request.

Board Member Moish Lankry ignored this and offered a motion to approve the correspondence request. Board Member Judah Ribiat offered a second to the motion. The motion was approved unanimously.


Ain't that pretty sweet? We can just "look the other way," like "ain't nothing ever happened here!"

As previously reported here on FAA News just days ago, the New Jersey Appellate Division highlighted the importance of doing proper due diligence before purchasing property. Apparently though, the Lakewood Zoning Board has no such concerns.

The granting of this correspondence request, will set a major precedent that conditions of approval don't matter anyways. That is a slippery slope.

More newsworthy is Fran Siegel, the Zoning Board secretary and Zoning Officer. How in the world did Fran approve a plot plan that violated her own Board's Resolution of Approval??

Unfortunately, Ms. Siegel has a history of making such "mistakes" which have caused headaches and grief to many taxpayers in this town, leading to costly litigation for many private residents and the Township.

Tonight, the Zoning Board affirmed that they simply couldn't care less what "mistakes" Fran makes. They also affirmed that they don't care to enforce their conditions of approval.

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Anonymous said...

What do I need to do to get Franny to make a "mistake" on my approval resolution and remove a restricting condition? My lot would become more valuable once she does away with an inconvenient restriction, and I want fair treatment.

Anonymous said...

All men are created equal. Some men are "more equal" than others.

Eliezer Goldberg said...

We need Aaron Hirsch for Fire Commissioner!

Drain the swamp!